Iaith Fyw : Iaith Byw (A Living Language: A Language for Living) is the Welsh Assembly Government’s proposed new Welsh Language Strategy, launched for consultation at an event in Llanrwst today (Monday, 13 December).
Mr Jones said:
“Despite the last census showing encouraging signs for the language, especially amongst young people, the position of the language remains fragile.
"The draft strategy aims to build on the achievements of Iaith Pawb and the One Wales Government to increase the numbers who can speak Welsh and choose to do so, throughout Wales."
This strategy does not stand in isolation. Together with the recently approved Welsh Language Measure and Welsh-medium Education Strategy, this strategy will help meet this Government’s vision of a truly bilingual Wales.
“Almost all fluent Welsh speakers speak Welsh on a daily basis, but they need more opportunities to use the language in all spheres of life,” Mr Jones explained.
“For example, over the past century we have lost many of the workplaces where the use of Welsh has been natural and commonplace. One of the challenges of this strategy will be to create a wide range of opportunities for the use of the language to become a day-to-day activity again.
“Another big challenge will be to inspire children and young people to use Welsh and create the opportunities for them to build up their confidence in using the language so that it becomes not only more commonplace but a matter of pride.
“I am grateful to the Welsh Language Board for their valuable contribution in drafting this strategy and I hope this will help us build on the good work they have contributed over the years. I now look forward to hearing people’s views on our strategy.”
Chair of the Welsh Language Board, Meri Huws, said:
"It has been a privilege to work with the Government in preparing this Strategy and I am glad of the opportunity to take part in the launch today.
"The strategy builds upon the increasing goodwill towards the language, and paves the way to ensure that the Welsh language can flourish in all aspects of life in Wales.
"The Strategy recognises the importance of working on a community level, in rural and urban areas, in a way which reflects the unique needs of different areas."
Among the key recommendations of the draft strategy are:
- To create Language Development Areas across Wales in partnership with local authorities, mentrau iaith and other organisations.
- To develop a Bilingual Towns and Cities project to promote the use of the language in urban settings.
- To develop a Welsh Language Delivery Plan for the 0-5 age group.